Selling an old coin collection can help bring in some needed funds, but you need to make sure you sell in a way that brings in top dollar for your valuable coins.
1. Don't Clean the Coins
Believe it or not, that dirt on those old coins may actually add to their value. It's called a patina, and removing it can lower the value of some older coins because the true beauty and detail of the coin is only obvious once a patina has built up. Now, if the coin is truly dirty, such as covered in chewing gum, it may be necessary to clean it up. If the dirt is just the natural patina of aging, though, leave it alone.
2. Maintain the Holders
The holders or "slabs" that house the coin can reduce value if they are so badly damaged that the coin can no longer be easily viewed. Paper holders are easily replaced, while the sealed plastic slabs may require a professional to safely open them and rehome the coin inside. Keep in mind some antique slabs or holders may actually add value to the coin, so consult with a professional appraiser before rehoming coins in very old holders.
3. Know the Collection Types
There are different types of collections. An assemblage collection typically consists of a lot of low value coins, possibly with one or two valuable coins in the mix. Some of the coins aren't even worth their face value to collectors. A mint collection is collector's coins that were never put into general circulation but instead were directly issued as collections by the government mint. Private mint collections are those specialty coins that are sold through magazines ads or late night commercials. Then there are high value collections, which are similar to an assemblage but only consist of coins of high value.
4. Split Up the Collection
If you have an assemblage collection, it may make more sense to split it up. For low value collections, concentrate on selling those coins that do have value separately, and then either sell the remainder at a single price or recirculate the coins for their face value. Both private and government mint collections can often be sold at higher value if you keep a series together, but you may be able to demand higher value if you sell each series separately.
5. Create a Portfolio
If you will be shopping your collection to different buyers, create a portfolio so you can easily email it to each one. A portfolio consists of a clear picture of the front and back of each coin, along with its major details such as face value, production year, and mint number.
Contact a coin buyer, like those at Rocky Mountain Coin and other locations, to get started.